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Looking through the Clouds in 2013: It’s all about integration

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By Chris Coggrave, Worldwide Director, IT Infrastructure Services, HP Technology Services Consulting

At HP Discover in December last year I presented on “Launching the data center into the cloud”, and I talked about the need to stand back and take the bigger picture of facilities, IT infrastructure and delivery model. Emerging into 2012, I notice that many of the analysts and vendors are offering their New Year messages to the market regarding what will be important this year.

The problem is, once again, just like the elephant analogy I talked about (see my article "Make your elephant cloud ready"), all are using different terms to describe basically the same thing, but from their own respective perspectives. We hear the terms “Converged infrastructure”, “Integrated Systems”, “Software Enabled Data Center” and “Fabric – Based Infrastructure” to name but a few. Everyone wants to make their mark, but in the process creates more confusion. For someone sitting out there reading these terms it can be pretty bewildering, particularly if you are trying to figure out which way you should be going.

So what are they really saying? Simply put, it’s all about integration. When I talked about the Journey to Converged Cloud, or a “Hybrid Delivery Model for IT”, I noted that the role of IT is changing from that of managing physical, stove-piped IT assets to that of a service broker – sourcing IT services for the business from wherever makes the best sense, whether this be internal or external to the organization. The level of integration or “convergence” between the stove pipes of network, server, storage, facilities etc. helps you accelerate along that journey where the speed is driven by how integrated your infrastructure is.

Integration can take place at a number of levels, from basic infrastructure integration – bringing together network and server storage stove pipes – to workload integration, where data and applications are brought together in appliance-based stacks.

So … is the most integrated stack the best approach for you? Well, the answer is not that simple – every organization is different. As with all things in life, the right approach depends on the specific needs of the situation. Some organizations may want to go straight away for a fully integrated stack. Others may want to take a slower buy-and-assemble approach. What drives this is the complex integration of multiple factors:

•    How much risk is your organization willing to take?
•    To what extent have you made previous investments in legacy technologies that you want to protect?
•    What are the pressing business drivers for you?
•    What skills do you have inside your organization?
•    Will your internal organization and culture preclude you taking specific approaches?
•    Are you willing to align with one vendor?
•    To what extent are you using single-standards-based approaches versus a multitude of customized approaches?


… and many more questions …

As with many things now, future decisions are increasingly driven by the softer people-and-process elements in your organization, rather than straight technology/product plays. An integrated, joined up approach is becoming more and more essential, and this requires a different way of thinking.

So where do you start and what steps should you take?

I’ll discuss that in my next blog!


For more on this topic, take a look at my article "How to Cloud-Enable Your Data Center".

Here’s my 3-part video discussion, recorded at HP Discover in Frankfurt, on Cloud and the data center:


Make Your Elephant Cloud-Ready: Part 1

 


Make Your Elephant Cloud-Ready: Part 2

 

 


Make Your Elephant Cloud-Ready: Part 3

 

 


Learn more about HP Converged Cloud solutions.



Chris CoggraveChris Coggrave is worldwide director of the Data Center IT Infrastructure Service business within HP Technology Service Consulting. He is responsible for vision, strategy, and solutions and services offerings in what represents the largest area of business within the consulting organization. Chris was formerly responsible for the Data Center Infrastructure and Cloud Services Practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at HP. Prior to this, he ran a number of consulting practices that included infrastructure optimization, security, and mobility and wireless. Chris holds a degree in physics and is a graduate of the Warwick Business School where he was awarded an MBA with distinction.

 

 

 

 

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